Action Fraud - the UK’s national reporting centre for cybercrime - has warned of a new weapon in the arsenal of online fraudsters.
Cunning computer criminals are now using background “hold” music in a bid to make their scam calls more convincing.
Organised crime groups have long since attempted to defraud members of the public by impersonating customers’ banks.
However, the methods used are evolving, with background music similar to that used by the bank being piped down the line when the customer is put on hold.
The fraudsters use this music as an attempt to convince the customer that the call is genuinely from the bank.
The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) spoke to a convicted fraudster, who said: “The banks say they would never call and ask for your account details or PIN numbers.
“My advice is never speak to anyone who calls you about your account, even if there is background music or other similar factors.
“If you have any concerns go to a branch or hang up and call the bank direct.”
“If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your password, login details or account numbers.
“Most banks will not approach their customers in this manner.
“If you are concerned about the source of a call, hang up and call your bank back on the legitimate phone number printed on your bank statements or other official bank documents/sources.
“Check your statements carefully and immediately report anything suspicious to the financial institution concerned.”
Stephen Proffitt, deputy head of Action Fraud said: “Fraudsters are constantly developing new ways to make their calls more convincing so members of the public need to remain vigilant.
“If you receive a cold call purporting to be from your bank, always end the call as soon as possible and call your bank back using the number on the back of your bank card or statement and ask to be put through to the fraud team.
“Tell them exactly what has just occurred.
“If you believe your bank details may have been compromised, you should report this to your bank immediately.”